Several years ago, it was estimated that Americans have 10 million wisdom teeth removed each year. If you are among the many patients who will undergo this procedure in the near future, it is understandable if you are a bit nervous about what you will feel like during your recovery. But there is no need to worry. As long as you take some simple precautions, it is likely that you will be feeling normal relatively quickly. Here are some practical tips to facilitate a comfortable and complication-free recovery:
Prevent Dry Socket
Dry socket is the most common complication after wisdom tooth removal. It happens when the blood clot at a surgical site gets dislodged or never forms. To reduce the risk that it will happen to you, you should avoid smoking and drinking through straws during the first few days after your surgery. Being gentle when you are performing oral hygiene tasks is also important.
Eat Soft Foods
Eating soft foods while you are recovering will reduce your risk of dry socket and minimize your discomfort. Smoothies, brothy soups, pudding, and yogurt are all acceptable choices. You can even indulge in some ice cream (without hard add-ins); its cold temperature may feel good on your surgical sites.
Get Enough Rest
The amount of downtime after wisdom tooth extractions can vary from patient to patient. How much rest you’ll need depends on the nature of your surgery and the type of sedation used. As a general rule of thumb, you should listen to your body and avoid strenuous physical activity for at least a few days.
Take Medications as Prescribed
Your oral surgeon might prescribe painkillers or antibiotics for you to take after your surgery. It is important that you take the recommended dosage at the recommended intervals. Failure to do so might make you vulnerable to significant discomfort or an increased risk of infection. If your pain medication makes you feel groggy, it is important that you avoid any activities with a high potential for injury, such as driving.
Swelling is normal over the first few days after wisdom tooth extractions. You can minimize it by applying ice to the sides of your face for 10 -20 minutes at a time.
Call Your Oral Surgeon if You Have Questions
Your oral surgery practice wants you to have a speedy and comfortable recovery. If you have any questions or concerns while you are on the mend, feel free to contact them. They are always willing to share their expertise with patients.
Most people are feeling pretty well recovered 7 – 10 days after their procedure. With the above tips, you can make your postsurgical period as comfortable and low-risk as possible.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Sheng Ji is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon with dual degree in dentistry and medicine.. Wisdom tooth extractions are one of the many surgical services that he offers. If you would like to learn more about the procedure, he would be happy to speak with you. Contact our office at 916-758-9018 to ask questions or schedule a consultation.